God loves us. Plain and simple. Warts and all. God loves us and meets us where we are, not in polished perfection and immaculate attire, but in a humble manger as a displaced person. God loves us so much that he sent his Son to die and rise that we might have eternal life.
May we all drop to our knees at some point today and say thank you…
Have you ever tried to get a gift for “the person who has everything” and been frustrated in the process? Everything we have comes from God…everything! The Lord needs nothing from us, but asks for only one thing: a loving heart that reaches out to others.
St. Stephen’s death serves as a sharp contrast from the glory Christ’s birth. Yet this contrast helps us engage in the spiritual battle that is part of our earthly life as we face our struggles with the grace of Jesus.
The Messiah is born! King of kings and Lord of lords, the ruler of the universe comes to us as a defenseless and vulnerable infant. Why? To get past all our defenses and touch our hearts with a gentleness that shakes the foundations of the world. Merry Christmas!
With the joy of Christ’s birth ringing in the air we celebrate today the death of St. Stephen, the first martyr. Why? To help us see the connection between the Christ’s birth and saving death as we offer our lives for the Lord. Thus, the Christmas spirit gives us hope to face the sacrifices of this life with the conviction that the Jesus Christ will guide and lead us to Heaven.
We rely heavily on our sense of sight to understand and navigate through this life. Light also plays a crucial role in our spiritual lives, and we look to the birth of Jesus Christ – the Light of the World – as the source of our hope that through Christ we will find the grace we need to make our way to Heaven. Merry Christmas!
The Christmas story touches our hearts and gets past our defenses. Why? Because babies evoke a loving response! God’s love story with humanity helps us see how the Lord – in taking on our human form – helps us to draw near through the gentleness of an infant. May the Christ child take us by the hand and lead us this Christmas to embrace our faith and give glory to God through the gift of our lives.
This painting held my attention at the Uffizi for several minutes, and I consider it one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. Enjoy!
Adoration of the Child, Honthorst, 1619-1620, Uffizi, Florence, Italy.